Thursday, July 21, 2016

What's happening in the shop: July Favourites

We are full on dancing into the summer time right now and I am loving it and we are loving it in the shop. Even though there have been a few people asking for fall items already. There's nothing wrong with thinking ahead. As a retailer I feel like my days have been consumed lately with Christmas prep but it makes me sad that we always rush through certain things and miss out on so much. I am that difficult retailer that won't allow seasons to change before it's time. Makes my wholesale reps nuts but if there's anything about being your own boss you get to say no, I don't want Christmas in July. And especially in Canada where we spend so much of our time crabbing about the weather it seems such a waste to not enjoy our steaming hot summer days and nights.

So with that in mind let's see what's catching our eye in the shop for our local and computer screen shoppers.

1. the new in shop french style market bags
these guys went super fast when they came in but i ordered enough that there are a few left for some fun carry all shopping at the market, schlepping to the beach, or just hanging on a door. there are 3 styles in store including my favourite the below leather wrapped style.

2. wood slice sealed coasters
perfect for that steaming cup of coffee to protect your table. they come in a set of 4 and are made in niagara. they look great just about anywhere and make a fabulous hostess gift when sneaking a week at the family cottage.
they are also great with that whole season thing i was just talking about as candle risers for fall or pumpkins. whatever!

3. this new requires a standing ovation  white & coppery brown pot and votive holder
they look amazing with plants but oh my gorgeous when empty too as a flickering candle holder

4. natural local macrame
this is not a "new" trend but it's a newly remerging one and seeing as my love of plants and needing homes for them just keeps growing lets go to the ceiling.
i am not partial to the coloured ones and i know most of our customers like neutrals so i happily went with natural cotton styles made in toronto.

i have already put 3 up in my own home and that number is likely to just keep growing. maybe one day i will get my act together and take photos of all the plants in my home. 

5. the botany candle line from paddywax
my favourite thing about this line other than the wonderful smells is the great container you get afterwards. it has a lid which implies you should use it for small things like bobby pins, rings etc but forget the lid and you got yourself a cute succulent, fern planter.
am i right?

now because i like to share stories (come by that very honestly by way of my lovely father) i thought you should know about the fantastic coconut prop in the above photo. i do all the photography currently for the shop with the help of Jill [retail manager extraordinaire] who has just as many cockamamie ideas as me we set out to opening the coconut. so when we needed to figure out how to get the damn coconut open for this shoot she suggested we just throw it at the concrete outside.
we were going to try to make a cute boomerang video for instagram.
so with an "are you ready?",
she wielded the thing at the ground and the biggest pop and splash happened all over my pants. that sounds dirty but really it was just the coconut water splashing all over me and the coconut screaming off into the bushes down the ravine. the photo i was trying to take did NOT turn out because as soon as the pop happened we were laughing so hard everyone in the parking lot next door was looking at us and i still had to climb down into the ravine and get the coconut so we could use it with tears running down my face.

it is my wish for the whole world to find someone like this to work with. we have stressful days and some days my owner pants have to go on but 99% of the time this is like running a shop with my best friend who has the same horrible sense of humour. the world of dental hygiene all but forgotten to me and moving forward with a passion and will to make homes beautiful and unique.

cell phone shot of all the mates lined up sans coconut.

Well have a great night and weekend everyone,


What I'm listening to:
I'm on fire: Whitehorse
Why'd you lie: Colin James
Moonshine: Katie Melua

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Some custom sharing, planters and flamingos

Good morning everyone,

A little bit of sharing tidbits of some things I have been doing alongside the shop lately.

Custom planting and planters are a huge part of the store. People bring us their sad planters with half cooked plants or giant empty ones in need of some love. I just thought I would share these huge succulent gems Jill and I planted up and I delivered this past week to a customer.

Two of these beauties are going outside in the summer sunshine to brighten up a patio space. Honestly if I needed a fourth or fifth career, doing peoples patio planters and freshening gardens could have been it. Not major landscaping like rocks but you know doing the pretty stuff that lots of people hate to do or don't know what plants can live together. I could have been that person. [in my spare time]

The basket planter is quite large and needed all new moss to freshen it up but didn't it just turn out spectacular. No matter how many we plant or how many times we think up new combinations the two of us shop turkeys still ooh and aah when they are done. Jill was helping a few customers while I did the basket and came back and yelled "it's a masterpiece".

We're weird like that.

this long planter is going out into full all day sun so for the next week or so we are doing some "sun training" with it so that it won't get a burn. don't forget unless the succulents you buy at the greenhouse are already outside, they are not ready to just hop into the sun no matter how bright they were grown inside. being behind a window and sitting in a lawn chair are 2 different things right? but plants don't get sunscreen so you need to do it gradually. find a bright outdoor spot that isn't directly in the sun for the first few days, then start with a few hours gradually moving your way to the full sun you desire. your planter will reward you with healthy growth and sustainability for the money you spent.

and these 2 babies are headed indoors to add some succulent style to a living space.

and onto the flamingos.
i posted these last night on Instagram and Facebook after making them for myself for our front patio (I know I haven't shared any outdoor spaces here yet this year but I will soon) and decided to share the love.
here is the blurb that went with them if you too find yourself in need of some flamingos!

"Who doesn't need a little flamingo in their outdoor summer life? I know I do as of today and if you think you need to join the flamingo club continue reading. I didn't include this fabric in the store lineup because of the obvious quirk factor however I am offering this beauty up for sale by request only starting today. If you are interested (and yes I will ship Canada and USA) please email me at I will send you the pricing of covers and inserts plus additional photos for perusal. Serious inquiries only please and orders for this batch will need to be firmed up by Wednesday at 9pm EST. NO pricing sizing questions etc will be answered by social media thanks!"

Have a great day everyone


Friday, June 24, 2016

Summer around the shop

Hey all,

Happy Friday!

In the last couple weeks we have had the remaining bunnies of spring hop into their burrows in the basement and we have summer-ized the shop with birds, shells and anchors and all that goes with that.

And since I also realized I haven't had a shop tour on the blog in quite some time as well and the camera was here to do some other work, why not?

Welcome to Oliver and Rust; summer edition. 

we're in the pickle business now too. one of our local foodie lines has expanded into dill pickles and bread & butter pickles and they are amazing. neat thing too they are being made at the last remaining pickle factory in Ontario so sustainable too.

Thanks for visiting.

Have a great weekend and we'll see some of you in store


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

a trip to the other side of the world, bali style

It's actually kind of hard to believe that we have been home for a month already from our wonderful trip to Bali. Time just flies when you're having too much fun I tell ya.

Back in May Trevor and I embarked on our longest trip to date and made the 3 plane ride hop to Indonesia. We are pretty seasoned flyers but nothing but patience  and lots of water can really help you through those monster flights. 35 hours later and losing days here and there with the time change we arrived to the wonderful hot and tropical climate of Bali.

Now I know most everyone uses Eat, Pray, Love as the reference for what it is like in Bali and not discounting the movie a lot of it is like that. However, it is also very busy, very hot, not super quiet and serene but in a wow this is really kind of amazing way.

We landed at Denpasar airport and travelled about an hour and a half to Ubud although our driver kept saying 20 min. Time is not really the same in other parts of the world as we know it here.

Neither is traffic. The sheer amount of people mostly on scooters is mind boggling. Thank goodness we didn't have to drive when we got there. The thing that fascinated us was the volume and aggression in driving without the tempers to go with it. People are swerving around each other honking and all the while looking as if they are sitting in a cafe drinking a latte. No one is upset, road rage just doesn't seem to be a thing. It was refreshing, people not sweating the small stuff that they cannot change and just going about their business.

And we hadn't even gotten to our hotel yet.

We stayed at a small hotel right in the middle of central Ubud called the Grand Sunti. It was small, quaint, had 3 pools (no complaints there) and gave us everything we needed including a perfect location to walk just about everywhere including to the monkey forest.

The monkey forest is really a giant forest sanctuary where the monkeys live and you pay to go visit them. They are free range and quite often come out of the forest to sit on the road, use the water fountains, and/ or swipe things out of vendors shops. 
We followed the rules as we really didn't want any incidents while going there. No food, no noise makers, my brother brought a plastic water bottle which he quickly got rid after a monkey tried to pull his shorts off. Once the crinkling of the plastic was gone so was the nuisance of the monkeys and we could just walk around and admire them all.

While walking around this place, certain areas are busier than others and some are just almost magically quiet. Certain areas seemed to be where people just herded and acted lets just be blunt and say stupid. A young woman had food in her hand and let a monkey climb onto her and then for her efforts of not sharing and following directions got bitten. She seemed perfectly fine with that however, I'm not so sure that being bitten by a wild animal is such a great idea in a foreign country. She didn't seem to mind though. Trevor followed me around like my mother goose and was on full alert the whole time we were there after he saw that. He even carried my purse so there was no reason for a monkey to come near me. I was free to fill up my camera with cute monkey photos and wander away from the crowds.

In these countries where heat and humidity blend so seamlessly it always fascinates me the colour and amount of moss that is just everywhere. These monkey statues were just gorgeous with their green coat.

Throughout our trip we visited a few temples seen in the photos below, ate at some amazing restaurants, did a VERY long bike ride through the rice paddies and towns (40km through winding streets and mountains in 40+ heat) and walked through some amazing areas and markets. Seriously though the food in Ubud was excellent. Most restaurants had just phenomenal selection, great atmospheres and were dirt cheap. I think as a North American and Canadian getting used to how cheap Asia is was one of the hardest things.
When water is 80% less than we pay at home and most full meals including drinks come in at 30.00 vs 100.00 at home, you find yourself double checking your math quite a bit and just wondering about how life can be so different in other parts of the world.

the photo above and below were taken at a temple from the 11th century. all legs must be covered and that means the guys needed to wear a  sarong as well as these are holy areas. we went early in the morning so really had the temple all to ourselves and our guide was excellent. once walking down the stairs into the temple you couldn't hear anything but the waterfalls and birds. it was amazing. the carvings that would have been done by hand. the roof made from palm that men work and prepare by hand.
these people are like super heroes compared to the work we complain about at home.

a rice paddy at a luwak coffee stop.

a holy temple where you can follow the fountains and do the blessing. the little yellow trays lining the top are the offerings filled with anything from crackers to little chocolate bars as a peace offering to the gods and incense.
this temple was extremely busy and for me kind of took the serenity of it away a little bit but watching people and their emotions as they receive their blessings is something else.

and just in case you were not aware of the rules, there are signs posted at the front of all temples and they take these rules quite seriously. 

I didn't take a lot of photos while walking around town as we were really focusing on enjoying the sights and not falling in the random holes in the sidewalk.

We can't wait to go back although would do a few things differently next time. This kind of travel is best not done when you are already exhausted from a self inflicted silly work schedule as the jet lag will just about murder you. We would go no less than 2 weeks so that we can acclimatize a bit better to the time change. Trevor and I are really "whatever" type travellers and that makes us hard to travel with sometimes as we aren't great with plans and just go by the seat of our pants without planning our days. In place like this, planning is probably easier and ensures you won't miss anything you wanted to see, so a longer period of time would allow us to do that and still be wanderers. I would like to visit other towns and not just stay in one place next time. My brother and girlfriend were able to stay on a bit longer than us and visited 2 other areas including what appeared to be a gorgeous beach town. I think I would put town hopping on my list next time as it is just so easy to do there. There is NO shortage of friendly taxi drivers just waiting to give you a life somewhere.

All in all Bali was not what I expected but in many ways probably better. Flying time sucks but once you get passed that slight nuisance there is nothing but great times ahead.
and plants, so many plants including stag horns and birds nest ferns growing on trees naturally, everywhere.

Have a great day everyone,